February is a ‘special’ month. It is the month of the Aquarius, the Chinese New Year, and Valentine’s Day to name but a few occasions that give us reason to celebrate life more fully.
We have every reason to celebrate every minute of our life as each one of us is completely unique. And just how unique am I? Before answering this question let me ask you to answer the following question: If someone commits a crime, what will be one of the factual compelling evidence that will help to prove this person committed the crime and not his/her twin?
As you know, one of the factual compelling evidence in crime solving is the person’s fingerprints and their DNA. Even identical twins do not have the same fingerprints; this is how wonderfully unique each person is as an individual human being on planet earth. Identical twins share the same placenta while in utero, they share the same DNA, but they do not share the same fingerprints. So, the next time someone attempts to negatively describe you as ‘a unique piece of work’, smile and know you are indeed wonderfully unique.
But as unique as I am by my fingerprints I also have a unique pattern of behaviour. Most behaviours are learned from observing adults soon after birth and throughout childhood. As a result, we accumulate healthy and unhealthy behaviours.
This month we again have another opportunity of starting over again with the New Year’s resolutions we may have made last month as we celebrate the Chinese New Year on Feb. 16. If you are ready to create new healthier behaviours to replace your old unhealthy behaviours, I suggest you might want to try doing this exercise for yourself.
In using the drawing below as a sample, draw the person(s) you feel influenced you the most in your childhood. Spontaneously write their individual behaviours. After writing their healthy and unhealthy behaviour lists, write a list of the behaviours you have incorporated into your life from observing their behaviours. Now, look at your list of behaviours and decide which ones you want to keep and which you want to eliminate. Ask yourself the question ‘Is this behaviour helping me?’ If it isn’t, then hopefully you will choose to eliminate it. Conversely, if the behaviour is helping, hopefully you’ll choose to keep it.
Again, I remind you (as I did in the Jan. 11 column) that it takes practice and perseverance to incorporate new healthier behaviours into our life. Now, I ask you to do this lovingly and with much affirmation even when we revert to a behaviour we had hoped to eliminate.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, may we truly be more loving not only to our partner, friends, strangers, neighbours and family but also to ourself. In my first column in the Chemainus Valley Courier, Aug. 17, 2017, I explained my philosophy ‘It’s About Me’ as a fulfillment of the words ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ John Denver wrote a song Perhaps Love which I personally find helpful in looking at what I feel love might be if I could ever really define it. Thus, I leave you with the words of his song as my unique way of wishing each of you a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home.
Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don’t know what to do
The memory of love will see you through.
Oh, love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
Some say they don’t know.
Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict full of pain
Like a fire when it’s cold outside
Thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you.
Kathleen Kelly of Chemainus is the author of the book ‘The Tornadoes We Create.’